The discharge in a Chapter 7 case only covers the debts that were incurred before the case was filed. The bills that a debtor incurs after the case is filed are not discharged. The hope is that, after their old debts are canceled by the discharge, debtors will be able to pay their new obligations as they become due. But unexpected circumstances, such as illness or loss of employment, may again put debtors in a situation where they cannot pay their bills. In this situation, a debtor may be able to file another Chapter 7 case, but there might not be a right to discharge. After a debtor receives a discharge in a Chapter 7 case, the debtor only has the right to receive a discharge in a later Chapter 7 case if the later case is filed at least eight (8) years after the first case was filed. However, even during this eight (8) year “waiting” period, debtors may still be able to obtain relief in Chapter 13 under certain circumstances.
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